The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

My Complete Profile

On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

    Get your own calendar

    Granny Cares
  • Care Calendar
  • Agape Pregnancy Help Center San Antonio
  • World Vision

  • Granny Cooks (and Eats)!

  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks
  • Once a Month Mom
  • $5 Dinners
  • Full Bellies, Happy Kids
  • A Year of Crockpotting

  • Granny's House (and yours!)

  • Simple Mom
  • The Nesting Place
  • Between Naps on the Porch
  • The Inspired Room

  • Granny gets around...
  • A Holy Experience
  • MommyLife
  • Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
  • Preschoolers and Peace
  • Breathing Grace
  • theMangoTimes

  • Granny stays informed...
  • Real Clear Politics
  • Fox News
  • Drudge Report

  • Granny Thinks...
  • Al Mohler
  • Between Two Worlds
  • Blog and Mablog
  • First Importance
  • Equipping the Saints
  • Desiring God

  • Granny says you may go to...
  • PowerLine Blog
  • Michelle Malkin
  • SteynOnline
  • WSJ Opinion Journal Best of the Web
  • GetHuman
  • Home School Legal Defense Association

  • Granny goes to the movies...
  • Netflix
  • Rotten Tomatoes

  • Granny is watching!
  • Blue Pencil Editing
  • Mighty Red Pen
  • Conjugate Visits

  • Granny smiles at...
  • Purgatorio
  • ScrappleFace
  • LarkNews
  • Sacred Sandwich

  • Thursday, January 31, 2008

    It's my sense (as if this takes much sense) that we'd all better be finding out exactly what John McCain stands for and what kind of president he intends to be. I have misgivings, but not as many as I have with Clinton or Obama. It certainly looks today, on January 31, as if he's headed for the Republican nomination...and I'll be watching with interest to see where his VP list is leaning. Please God, not Rudy.

    (And be honest. Who would you rather have for First Lady? Cindy McCain or Bill Clinton?)

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    has spoken at 11:07 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008
    For those of you having trouble viewing the video below, here is a link to an article explaining the crisis. Included in the article is a sentence that I had to shake my head about, one of those "understatement of the year" cases:

    Haitian doctors say that people who depend on the [mud] biscuits for sustenance risk malnutrition.

    Well, I would think so :-(

    Haiti's rising food prices drive poor to eat mud


    has spoken at 9:57 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008
    I can hardly describe how hard this was to watch after eating my dinner, even though tonight it was just soup and bread. A feast, as this makes clear:

    May God have mercy on Haiti.


    has spoken at 8:21 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    It's a great week in the House. We're studying the ancient Greeks, and for some reason it's one of my kids' favorite topics. To see them fighting over all the books is really a treat. And some of the conversation is priceless....

    Tim: MOM, I am SO excited about the reading this week. Thank you SO much for letting us study ancient Greece!

    Mom: Sure, Tim, no problem. What's your favorite thing about studying Greece?

    Tim: The Greek gods! They're always my favorite gods. Well, you favorite ones that...that aren't really gods.

    Ahem. Yeah, thanks for that clarification :-)

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    has spoken at 6:22 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    You might be forgiven if, like me, you see an alien face in this rock before you see Jesus, but of course what it means is that you're shallow and spiritually insensitive. You can do penance by getting on eBay and bidding up the price so that the eventual winner has plenty to give to charity.


    We would see Jesus

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    has spoken at 11:30 AM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, January 28, 2008
    sour grapes pl.n. Denial of the desirability of something after one has found out that it cannot be reached or acquired: The losers' scorn for the award is pure sour grapes.

    Hillary downplays Obama endorsements

    has spoken at 4:48 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Frank Rich over at the NYT is not high on my list of Respected Journalists. Last time I checked, he wasn't even ON the list. But once in a while it's instructive to pay attention to the observations from the other side of the fence...

    The Billary Road to Republican Victory


    has spoken at 12:22 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, January 27, 2008
    Sunday snippets...
    It's been a lovely Sunday. The nicest combination of worship, fellowship, food, rest, and preparation for the new week. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to keep my sanity and still go back to a Sunday evening church service. Some of you will be scratching your heads here...some will know exactly what I mean. For years, Sundays were nearly unbearable and became days that I dreaded. They were anything but restful. I truly believe, and my Southern Baptist ancestors will turn over in their graves, that Sundays were not meant to be like that. In respect for those ancestors and any of my brothers who happen to be reading, I'll stop right there :-)

    Once again, I've enjoyed the spectacle of the latest presidential primaries. Seems it's been years since there was this much suspense. I know that much hangs in the balance, so sometimes I feel guilty for being such a pure junkie for the process itself, but that's the way it is...and I can't wait until Super Tuesday!

    Nathan came home this weekend to visit with our friend Matt who graduated from Air Force Basic Training on Friday. We've enjoyed having some time with Nate and hearing about his first two weeks away at college. It's clear he's found the environment that suits him and he's pretty much glowing.

    Favorite new product:

    This might LOOK like just any other barely-useful kitchen gadget. But trust me, if you make homemade pizza or you buy frozen pizza, this could change your life. Okay, that's a lie. If it changes your life, you still need to GET a life. But really, it's one of the neatest of the non-essential kitchen appliances I've ever seen. And it makes even frozen pizza truly edible! Just go read the reviews on Amazon! And don't buy it at this price...wait until it goes on sale. I think I got it for half of what it's going for today.

    Like Lyric, I didn't watch Miss America last night, but my girls did. I can tell I'm getting old when the changes in the show leave me totally empty. From what I hear from CJ, I didn't miss much.

    If you are much younger than me you might not get the kick out of this that I did. The possibilities for entertainment on the topic of Ted Kennedy are practically endless...if this piece of satire doesn't ring a bell with you, you might need to Google "Chappaquiddick".

    I've spent a portion of the past few days teaching myself the ins and outs of DNS (Domain Name Systems), CNAMEs, A records, MX....and my brain hurts. But I'm also listening to an audio book that discusses the importance of continuing to stretch the brain in new directions and not just stretching it further in the same directions. So I'm doing my part to stave off dementia, although I'm not sure that dementia would be as uncomfortable as trying to learn this stuff without a teacher!

    And from this morning's worship service...

    My gracious master and my God
    Assist me to proclaim
    To spread through all the earth abroad

    The honors of Thy name

    from "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing"
    Lyrics by Charles Wesley

    Have a wonderful, brain-stretching week :-)

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    has spoken at 8:16 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, January 26, 2008
    Okay, I got tagged. I guess if Lyric can do a meme, I can stop and do one, too. To be honest, I haven't had much time to blog this week so I'm kinda happy to have this excuse to stop between work projects and give myself a break. After all, if you get tagged, you have to respond, right?

    Of course right.

    So, here are the rules:

    (1) Link to the person that tagged you. (2) Post the rules on your blog. (3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

    Following rule #3:

    1. I'm one of those strange people that squeegee the shower stall every time I use it. No, I'm not that obsessive about all parts of housekeeping. But our shower is glass-enclosed on two large sides and for some reason I can't stand to leave water on it.

    2. I have always wanted to go see some of the Mayan ruins. Since we're studying meso-America this week, that desire has intensified.

    3. When I was seven I visited Dachau for the first time. That experience made it all but impossible for me to read about or see films of the Holocaust. When I visited again as an adult, it had lost none of its power.

    4. My purple walls never fail to delight me every single time I walk in my room. I've never regretted for a minute the decision to abandon eggshell in favor of eggplant.

    5. I once promised myself I'd never do a meme on my blog.

    6. Now you know why I don't make New Year's resolutions.

    Okay...I'm tagging Dee Dee, Tiffany, Kim P., Jen A., Jen B., Jackie, and Annie. GO!

    (I'm no good at math either, Lyric.)

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    has spoken at 3:35 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, January 24, 2008
    Darn. I was afraid this was going to happen. I knew he should have made it sound more urgent.

    Climate change 'significantly worse than feared': Al Gore

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    has spoken at 5:00 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Evidently this thing was "over" before I heard about it, but nevertheless, I am speechless.

    I guess if the "other" Peterson, the one on death row for killing his wife and unborn child, gets love letters from women all over the country, I shouldn't be surprised at this, but come on...can you say "death wish"?

    CHICAGO - It looks like Chicago-area women won't be able to compete for a date with Drew Peterson after all.

    Drew Peterson's lawyer Joel Brodsky said Peterson appeared on WJMK-FM with longtime Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl on Wednesday and agreed to come back Thursday to play "Win a Date with Drew Peterson."

    But WJMK-FM general manager Peter Bowen said the station never intended to have such a game. And he said Peterson and his attorney approached the station -- not the other way around.

    Peterson's attorney has claimed the contest was the brainchild of longtime Chicago radio host Steve Dahl.

    On the air, it seemed Dahl threw the idea out there, and Peterson said to "ask the lawyer."

    Bowen said Dahl would never, in his words, "put his listeners in harm's way."

    Granted, nothing in the article says there were women ready to "play", but these radio personalities know their audience and I can't believe they'd have considered something that wouldn't have gotten some brisk response.

    Radio Station Cancels 'Win Date with Drew'

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    has spoken at 2:41 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    Happy Birthday
    my son-in-law
    my pastor
    my friend


    has spoken at 10:15 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    We interrupt unpacking to bring you this message...

    Fred Thompson's campaign has to come close to a record for the shortest ever. I like him, and though he wasn't my first choice I'm disappointed that he didn't perform better. Not sure what his problem was except a widespread perception that it was an afterthought for him and he didn't have the energy or the passion to see it through. So it's no surprise that the inimitable Scott Ott has his tongue in his cheek this morning:

    Fred Drops Out, Will Announce in June on Leno

    (The silver lining is that we can scratch Jeri Thompson OFF the list of potential First Ladies. Ugh.)

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    has spoken at 12:14 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008
    I am home and sitting up in my bed. It was a strange week, but one I'm thankful for nonetheless. The bad part (okay, ONE of the bad parts) of the week is that we didn't get one single picture until I was leaving for the airport today. We took some with Judah and Erin, and then I think I had one taken with Liam. That will be the sum total for this trip...because any others would have carried the risk of....well, you don't need details. Anyway, they didn't happen. Double pictures next time :-)

    Back now to the middle of a school week, a slate of details for WHM, new work projects, and a survey of what food is in the house! But for tonight, I've taken a sleeping pill and I'm going to check myself out!


    has spoken at 9:52 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Things that make me go hmmmm......


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    has spoken at 9:18 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, January 21, 2008
    I'm sorry, but some things are just too delicious for me to resist. "Our first black president" (in the words of author Toni Morrison, not mine) can't stay awake for the MLK service.

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    has spoken at 9:42 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    As a homeschooling mother, you're bound to have had days (or months, or years) when you thought you were the only one of your species who can't seem to keep it all together, when multi-tasking felt more like fractured-tasking, and when you were sure that everyone else gets their to-do lists done but you.

    Ah, then you need to read today's post by Susan Wise Bauer. Okay, so she has a to-do list that's much loftier and more demanding than mine. But she has those same little devils whispering over her shoulder, "You know, you really should be able to do better than this..."

    The limits of multi-tasking

    hat tip: Tami

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    has spoken at 8:56 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, January 20, 2008
    Sunday snippets...

    Some of you have asked where the pictures are of Judah and the rest of the Virginia grandchildren.

    The sad story's a sad story.

    When I arrived here on Wednesday, Molly and Liam were down with a stomach virus. In the following 48 hours, Dave, Kristen, Warren, Henry, Carrie, Annie, Erin and I had all succumbed to the same thing. At first, the virus appeared to be short-lived, but nearly all of us, after thinking we were better, have had a relapse.

    Needless to say, it hasn't been the visit I envisioned. But then that's kind of like life, huh? It's not always what you hope, but it's life. And we've enjoyed being together even though the activities have been mainly of the cleaning and laundry variety, if you know what I mean.

    The little ones are, nevertheless, precious. We haven't felt like documenting the week in pictures other than the one of Molly on Kristen's blog with her snowmandog. She was the only one who felt like taking advantage of the 4" snow. The rest of us just looked out the window.

    So, here I am, sipping on a soft drink and eating some Cheez-its, hoping that one relapse is all I have to endure.

    And then there's politics. It's crazy, isn't it? Actually, though I might not like how things are looking, I think it's kind of invigorating that we still don't know much on either side of the fence. I hate it when it's all decided a year ahead of time and the rest of the political process is just a show. Those of who enjoy the process like there to be SOME drama and suspense!

    Regardless of how I was feeling, it was so nice to see some snow this week. No matter how many winters I pass in south Texas, I will always miss white-outs and five foot drifts and the site of the kids shoveling the walks. And yes, I will always miss Virginia in general.

    On the trip out here I finished the Stephen Colbert book. Yeah, don't listen with kids around. There's some of it that, to my taste, is unnecessarily crude. But there's no question about it, the guy is a hilarious observer of human nature and of things American.

    The Papa is home from Hawaii, two days ahead of me. By Thursday night the kids will be crowding around to find out what kind of T-shirts he brought them! Always, T-shirts :-)

    Nathan, CJ, and Beth all seemed to have good starts to their college semesters this week. Nate even texted that he spent Saturday on the golf course with new friends. Must mean there was no homework, right?

    If you didn't see the Civil War video from yesterday's post, go watch!

    Well, that's about all I can manage today. Hopefully another 24 hours and I'll be feeling more, well, robust!

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    has spoken at 2:16 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, January 19, 2008
    Is your family currently studying the Civil War? If so, or if you are gathering resources for an upcoming study, YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS VIDEO! This makes it so much easier to get a grasp of the big picture and the strategy. And don't miss the casualty ticker...sad, but a good reality check on what the War cost our nation...

    And if you ever run across similar videos of the other wars, especially WW's I and II, send them my way!

    hat tip: Annie

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    has spoken at 4:52 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, January 18, 2008
    Not that I want to be the bearer of bad news, but this is news you can use. You might want to pack an extra little bag next time you travel...

    hat tip: Jack B.


    has spoken at 1:39 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    No comment necessary.

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    has spoken at 10:24 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, January 17, 2008
    Putting global warming on ice...

    I love this.

    Residents insist Greenland's freezing temperatures don't mean global warming has been called off

    While the rest of Europe is debating the prospects of global warming during an unseasonably mild winter, a brutal cold snap is raging across the semi-autonomous nation of Greenland.

    On Disko Bay in western Greenland, where a number of prominent world leaders have visited in recent years to get a first-hand impression of climate change, temperatures have dropped so drastically that the water has frozen over for the first time in a decade.
    'The ice is up to 50cm thick,' said Henrik Matthiesen, an employee at Denmark's Meteorological Institute who has also sailed the Greenlandic coastline for the Royal Arctic Line. 'We've had loads of northerly winds since Christmas which has made the area miserably

    Of COURSE the residents don't want to "call off" global warming. The pilgrimages being made to Greenland to "document" climate catastrophe are bringing hordes of revenue to that area...if we stop believing in it, they're going to be the poorer. This is one they're going to milk for all it's worth...


    has spoken at 12:42 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    There are no words.

    Experiments to create Britain’s first embryos that merge human and animal material will begin within months after a Government watchdog today approved two research teams to carry out the controversial work.

    Scientists at King’s College London and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne will now inject human DNA into empty eggs from cows, to create embryos known as cytoplasmic hybrids that are 99.9 per cent human in genetic terms.

    First animal-human embryo trials to go ahead

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    has spoken at 11:44 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    A fascinating find:

    A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said Wednesday.

    It's exciting to know that there are still artifacts from this time period waiting to be discovered!

    "The seal of the Temech family gives us a direct connection between archeology and the biblical sources and serves as actual evidence of a family mentioned in the Bible," she said. "One cannot help being astonished by the credibility of the biblical source as seen by the archaeological find."

    Those of us who actually believe what the Bible says won't necessarily be astonished, but it is nevertheless a gift to hold in our hands evidences of the very people of whom Scripture speaks!

    First Temple seal found in Jerusalem


    has spoken at 8:09 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008
    Bill Clinton paints Obama as 'establishment' candidate

    The former president trumpeted New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's accomplishments while painting Obama as the "establishment" candidate who would bring only the "feeling of change."

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    has spoken at 11:59 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Yep, the world is upside down.


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    has spoken at 11:37 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

    Treaty Threatens Parents' Rights


    has spoken at 3:41 PM
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    Well, my informal goal was to be through with everything that had to be accomplished today by the time the Michigan polls closed so I could just sit and watch results tonight. (I know. I'm really strange.)

    Not gonna happen. I'm hopelessly behind, and I'll be doing well to just keep an ear on the TV while I do the last of the tasks that must be done before I leave town in the morning. My alarm will be going off shortly after my head hits the pillow, I'm sure.

    But at least there'll be a winner in Michigan :-)


    has spoken at 3:22 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Do NOT listen to this book in the van without a (preferably hard-of-hearing) designated driver. Not safe.

    Nope. Not safe at all.

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    has spoken at 4:44 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Here is a fun site with some cool video clips showing great time-saving tips. I've already tried a few of these and wondered why I hadn't thought of them yet!

    (If you try the one about chilling soda cans, it works amazingly well--just make sure you rinse the can off before drinking!!)

    Sprint Waitless

    hat tip: Penny


    has spoken at 12:42 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, January 13, 2008
    Sunday snippets

    It can't be Sunday already. Where did the week go?

    Just as I was suspecting by last Sunday night, baby Genevieve arrived pretty much as soon as I was safely out of town. I am so sorry to have missed her birth (and the associated drama!) but I am so happy to have seen and held her this week and welcomed her to our circle!

    My two days and nights away, though somewhat of a whirlwind, were wonderful. It was a combination of business and spending a bit of time with my mother, who seems to be doing very well at present. I love getting to see her and I love her guest room :-)

    On Wednesday I leave again, this time for the East coast to visit Annie's and Kristen's families. I'll be gone for six days, long enough to meet baby Judah and love on the other six. It's so convenient that both families live in the same townhouse building so that I don't waste time going back and forth between them!

    Isn't it amazing how smells are connected to memories? I made a dish this week that I haven't made in a long time, and my kids about went wild with nostalgia. I didn't realize that this was one of the things lodged in their memory banks from the 90's and before...but the minute the cooking scents were out in the kitchen and the family room I could hardly keep them out of the pot. They all commented about how it reminded them of their childhood (and they're so old, right?) and we all ate until we were groaning. Makes me wonder what other secret olfactory memories they have...

    I will not get hooked. I will not get hooked. I will not get hooked.

    This semester Aubrey and I are sharing the load in homeschooling in some different ways. I'm going to tutor Jonathan in math and writing on Fridays, and she is going to take Tim with her boys to a P.E. class in Boerne on Friday afternoons. We'll keep Sam here during that time so that he won't be exposed to the dusty field where the kids meet. It's very nice to have our own (very small) co-op where we can take it a semester at a time and decide what works for us that might not have worked last semester. Or that we might not have thought of until now!

    Okay, so we're home from taking Nathan to college. The interesting thing is that we brought him back home with us!

    First, I have to tell you that I think it borders on immoral how much "dorm" life has changed. Oh, I don't mean the good ol' days were all that good...just that if I had to suffer, I think my college freshmen should, too. When we pulled up and saw this:

    I was sure we were mistakenly in married student housing! I kept looking around to find where the REAL dorms were. We did see some as we entered the campus. You know, the ones that are one step above a slum? But evidently, they've mistakenly assigned him to quarters meant for the associate professors or something...because no undergraduate should have a life this easy! It's just wrong!

    Still believing there was some error, we unlocked the door and went in.

    Nathan is in a unit that is basically a four-bedroom apartment. Each guy has his own room,

    and he will share one very large bathroom with one other guy.

    There's a common living area

    and a small kitchen.

    There's also a nice "clubhouse" for the 26 units to share, and it has a very large kitchen in case they want to cook something fancy (for the nice girls, no doubt) or cook on a large scale.

    So we got him all unpacked and made his bed and thought we'd be saying goodbye when he discovered that he'd brought the wrong suitcase! The large one that he packed with essentials was left behind, and the one he brought was nested with other suitcases. So since he doesn't have any mandatory activities until orientation, he came back home with us to collect the right suitcase and some other things we discovered he might be able to use once we saw his dream home dorm room. CJ is now headed back to Kerrville to leave him once and for all. He tried to get me to let him stay until tomorrow night, but prolonging this is not helping my heart any...and he needs some time to get used to his new home away from home, so I gently encouraged him to return tonight.

    We're praying for you, son. Your dad wants you to win the class :-)

    Book update: I know it will be hard for some of you to believe this, but trust me. If you love Mitford, if you love Jan Karon, you have got to read Home to Holly Springs. I think it's BY FAR the very best of the Mitford novels, even though this one is supposed to be a different series altogether. (Shhh....don't worry, it's really still Mitford. I think that J. K. just couldn't stop even when she said she would, so she's continued the same series under another name.) Anyway, there are profound themes of forgiveness of others and of yourself, poignant explorations of relationships with parents, and a sensitive look at race relations in the mid-20th century...and all woven together with Karon's characteristic gentle humor and insight into human nature. And once again, her clear understanding of the gospel and its healing power are unapologetically present. Please, even if you haven't read the others, don't miss this one.

    A great big ALOHA and hug to our MCC Ohana at Mililani today. The Papa got to visit there this morning and could hardly pull himself away from the warm welcome and our beloved friends there...we miss you!

    A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Great-Aunt Dorothy, 88 on Sunday. She is the last surviving sibling of my maternal grandmother, and on her birthday she sang a solo in church! She has never stopped singing, never slowed down a minute in her life and I fully expect her to outlive me!

    Snip, snip, that's all folks. On to get ready for the next school week.

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    has spoken at 6:05 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, January 12, 2008
    Today was the day we rounded up the last of what Nathan needs for dorm life in preparation for taking him to college tomorrow.

    It wasn't just a group of errands. It was part of a whole new experience for me.

    Yes, we've sent kids off to college before, twice to schools across the Atlantic Ocean from us while we were living in Germany.

    But...they were girls. And I always thought that the boys would be, well, easier.

    I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong.

    To go into the reasons that it's such a different feel this time would be too hard tonight so I won't try. I'm still hoping to sleep a few hours before this very emotional adventure and I can't afford to turn the tears back on. Suffice it to say that we would appreciate your prayers as we launch Nathan into the next season of his life and we adjust to family life without his daily presence.

    God has big plans for this wonderful young man and no matter how hard it is to let him go, we look forward to watching the plans unfold...

    Update tomorrow on the Snippets.

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    has spoken at 10:32 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, January 11, 2008

    I didn't get to watch every bit of the debate last night, but I certainly like this wrap:

    Barnett: A Big Night for Huckabee


    has spoken at 12:42 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, January 10, 2008
    A letter to my firstborn
    Dear Jonathan,

    Thirty-four years ago today, you and God made me a mother.

    Yes, I was still a teenager. And no, I never got to bring you home, never got to "mother" you in the traditional sense.

    But I was no less a mother, my life changed forever by the first look at you.

    You arrived three months before we expected you. The details of your early delivery and the poor medical decisions that were responsible for it have now faded into the mists of time and are no longer important. What never fades is my awareness that you were the one who brought to me, in your short life, a role that I would never again lay down.

    In the delivery room, you took one unassisted breath before your lungs collapsed. From that moment, in the deathly quiet that shouldn't have been, I waited for the sound of your cry. I never heard it. Your next twenty days, the whole span of your life, were spent in a silent fight for every breath. Dad and I fought with you, and while we felt that we lost, we know that, ultimately, you won. Your days of pain were short and you have already lived for most of my life in the presence of the Father.

    When I kissed you goodnight on the night of January 29, 1974, the doctors had just told us, for the very first time, that they believed you were going to pull through. They assigned a social worker to help us get ready to care for you at home within a few weeks. They talked about the remarkable progress you had made and how the things they were learning with you would help them save other preemies. We drove home that night stunned with joy. We spent the next two hours looking through all the baby clothes we had feared you'd never wear; we set up the crib and imagined how you would look under the blanket I had made. And then we fell into bed in an exhausted ecstasy, believing that our long battle might be coming to an end.

    The phone pierced the pre-dawn darkness and woke your grandfather first. Within a few moments he had roused us and handed us to the sad voice of your special doctor. It seems that soon after we left the hospital you started showing signs of a virus, probably the simple cold that all babies get sooner or later...but not all babies fight for every breath for three weeks and you had no bank of resources with which to take on a new war. For three hours the NICU staff labored to keep you breathing, to keep you from choking on milk that wouldn't stay down, to restart your heart five times.

    And then, you rested. Instantly in the arms of the One who had so recently given you life, you surrendered this life and traded it for the one that someday we'll share.

    There are no words to describe our heartbreak. I had nothing to prepare me for the sharp pain of losing my first child...nothing to prepare me for the dull ache that replaced it and lingered for longer than I could have imagined...nothing to prepare me for the task of choosing a casket for a newborn. It felt to me like my life had ended at 19.

    I don't need to tell you about the faithfulness of our Father: you had a complete understanding of His care many years before I will know it in the same way. But He was faithful. His tender care for Dad and me through the valley of the reality, not just the shadow, of death shaped our young lives. His grace prepared us for a life of caring for not just our future family, but for other people broken by their own losses and hurts. I don't believe there was any other way to get us ready for the road ahead than walking us through that fire.

    Each year on your birthday I look at the nine children that followed you and I wonder if you can see them. If you can, I know you're proud of your six beautiful sisters, compassionate and funny and bright and capable. You would love your three brothers, growing into manhood with strong convictions and the gentleness and winsomeness of their father. You would have reveled in the hordes of nieces and nephews that now populate our home. You'd have loved our Thursday night dinners with all their banter and laughter. You'd have loved watching Sam dance to the the Bee Gees' "Tragedy" and seeing Tim sword fighting imaginary foes for hours on end. You'd have been proud to stand beside your sisters as they married men you had helped "vet". You'd have marveled at Josh's ninety pushups and Shelley's piano recitals. And they'd all have looked up to you in all the unique "you-ness" that God gave you.

    Someday, when we've all lived together in our heavenly home for ten thousand years, these few years of separation will seem insignificant. While we live them, though, we sometimes chafe at your absence and sense deeply the hole that will always exist in our midst. But unlike those who grieve with no hope, we look ahead with joy to the day when our family and all those who have gone before us are reunited and can see with new perspective all the reasons for your short life.

    Happy birthday, Jonathan. Thank you for being my first taste of motherhood and my most tangible hope for the family reunion. I love you still.


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    has spoken at 9:09 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    This guy is in deep doo-doo.
    Dog Poop Footprints Lead Police To Drunken Driving Suspect

    A Durham man accused of drunkenly driving into a yard was found after police followed a smelly trail of dog feces footprints.

    Police said 18-year-old Josue Herrios-Coronilla drove his black Camaro on the wrong side of the road Wednesday and crashed into the yard of Bill McDonald, the owner of four dogs.

    When police arrived, they found crushed bushes, a damaged fence, an inoperable car - and a fresh shoe print in a pile of dog feces.

    Following an odoriferous trail down the street, Durham police Sgt. Dale Gunter noticed a white van driving toward him. When he asked the passenger to step out, he noticed alcohol on the man's breath and evidence all over his shoes.


    has spoken at 8:43 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    I've tried to stay distracted today from the political coverage, since I have had more than I can take of Hillary's smiles and tears. But my cousin Pam called my attention to this article this morning, and it begins by drawing a parallel between the errant NH polls and one of my favorite scientific theories:

    I’d like to suggest a public opinion equivalent of the “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle” – the idea in physics that suggests that the very act of observing certain phenomena can alter those phenomena.

    Okay, it’s stretching it a bit to compare Hillary and McCain to sub-atomic particles, but still, I believe that the polling results announced all day Tuesday and most of the day Monday helped to make those polls inaccurate.

    Michael Medved goes on to offer his explanation:

    I think pollsters and experts were right that most of the independents in New Hampshire (45% of all voters) liked two candidates: Obama and McCain. In the forty-eight hours before the polls closed, they got a consistent message about their two favorites: Obama had his victory in the bag, but McCain was potentially in trouble. Therefore, sophisticated independent voters (who could choose to participate in either the Republican or Democratic contest) reasoned that McCain needed their help but Obama didn’t. Therefore, those who wanted, above all, to make a difference, switched at the last moment to the GOP side, abandoning their previous intention to vote Democratic. That’s why the split of independent voters between those who went with the GOP and those who went with the Democrats wasn’t nearly as one-sidedly Democratic as expected.

    Okay, certainly more than plausible. But it's one of hundreds of theories floating around today in a feverish sea of speculation. Here's another reaction to the polling mystery that made it to my desk this morning:

    New Hampshire's Polling Fiasco

    January 09, 2008 12:05 AM

    There will be a serious, critical look at the final pre-election polls in the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire; that is essential. It is simply unprecedented for so many polls to have been so wrong. We need to know why.

    Excuse me, but does this make anyone else laugh out loud? Can't you just hear the tone inherent in that last statement, ringing with adolescent self-importance? WHY do we need to know why? Why are the polls so important that we must be able to predict in advance how many tenths of a point will separate the top candidates? But on it will go, the pollsters and the pundits dressing each other in empirical emperor's clothing and half the country paying homage to the naked result.

    In my book, if we can ever prove that some political Heisenberg Uncertainty principle is at work in our elections, we should move to ban pre-election polling and send the pollsters to the land of other sub-atomic particles...

    There. I feel better already.

    hat tip: Pam

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    has spoken at 9:06 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    I sat alone in a restaurant yesterday thinking about this very concept.

    Notice to Cracker Barrel and other establishments that I frequent, especially "on the road": I would choose you over the place across the road every time if you gave me a choice like this. Oh, we're going to hear all kinds of things about losing the personal touch...but I heard it about bank tellers, too, and I haven't used one in twenty years. I'll still smile and say a nice word to (and yes, tip) the waitress who refills my coffee or brings my dessert, but let me reduce the chances for error and long waits by using 21st century technology. Please, don't wait until I'm too old to enjoy it.

    Think about it...many chains have been using this kind of technology for a long time, having the wait staff transmit the order to the kitchen electronically. Why not the customer? How many of us are at least as capable as the person who takes our order?

    By the way, I tried to find a photo for this post, and are you surprised that the only ones I could find were in Japanese restaurants?

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    has spoken at 8:12 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, January 08, 2008
    The New Hampshire results are still coming in, and it looks like a good news/bad news story. I didn't want to see Hillary take New Hampshire, but on the other hand Aubrey reminds me that the way it looks right now the GOP nominee would have a better shot against her than against Obama. Never mind that technically his positions are left of hers...he's the current star and he's winning independents (at least the kind of independents that look at personality and don't check to see how radical his ideas are).

    I'm home again, unpacking and settling in after a two-day trip to the north (Texas) country. I'm going to crawl in bed early and listen to all the punditry...


    has spoken at 8:05 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, January 06, 2008
    Sunday snippets...

    Yikes, my Sunday snippets will soon belong to Monday! I'm writing from a hotel room in Richardson, Texas where I'm attending meetings tomorrow, but happily I have a nice connection from here.

    And of COURSE Candace would go into labor while I'm gone! That baby is gonna be on my bad list!

    Okay, so the political races are getting interesting, huh? I'm SUCH a junkie I could hardly wait to get out of my car today to find out what the latest polls are saying. It's going to be a fascinating year...

    During my five hours in the car today, I listened to nearly half of Suite Francaise. If you're a WWII buff, you'll love this one. More when I finish it.

    Prayers going up today for dear friends...Charles leaves for a four-month deployment in the desert on Tuesday and Stacey and family will be surrounded here by the most caring group of people I've ever known. But still it won't be easy, and so if God brings them to mind, pray for safety for him and peace for all of them. We love you guys!

    Some of you folks who brought all that great Mexican food to church today need to pony up with some recipes! Wow!

    Okay, I've got to get to bed so I can greet an early alarm. Have a great week!

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    has spoken at 10:30 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Saturday, January 05, 2008
    It's no secret that I'm on the Huckawagon, at least at this point in the '08 campaign. Many of my friends and family members are in someone else's camp, and that's fine. I'm trying to keep an open mind and a clear head and to read things from all sides.

    It's also no secret that I adore Mark Steyn. He is not on my side this time, but I enjoy reading and need to read analyses like his to make sure I don't get locked in an ideological corner, refusing to see light from anywhere else. Though I don't agree with Steyn's conclusions in this article, I think he has some valuable observations and also points up some of the same misgivings I have about Huckabee. Regardless of not being able to agree with him on every point, though, MH is the only person in the race that I trust. And trust goes a long way.

    It's the secular Left vs. the Christian Left


    has spoken at 11:18 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, January 04, 2008
    After a year and a half I've updated my profile picture (see at right) with a new one. I've loved using the picture of Granny and little Carrie, but she's not quite so little any more and I was ready for a change. So I've used one from the recent shoot that my cousin Johanna did right before Christmas...I had them done as a surprise for The Papa. Johanna has the incredible gift of making anyone look beautiful so I'm taking advantage of her miracle and putting this up before it gets lost!

    Thank you, Johanna!

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    has spoken at 8:31 PM
    7 Backtalks to Granny

    Our family will resume school on Monday. I've put in a solid six hours today getting things ready for diving back in: hunting for good maps, websites, etc...collecting the books for the newest part of our history and literature studies...making copies of graphic organizers for writing assignments...updating Edu-track and running off assignment sheets. I've also gotten a packet of stuff ready for The Papa to take to Hawaii so he can conduct Tapestry discussions via speaker phone next weekend. I'm taking a short trip out of town Sunday and Monday, so I am working hard to have everything ready for the kids to start without me after a short meeting tomorrow night to discuss expectations and answer questions.

    I still marvel at the feeling of having only three students this year. And as I located assignments for my 6th, 8th, and 10th graders, it hit me again that I don't have that many years left. It's a bittersweet thought. I'm sure that when it's "over" I will have lots of nostalgic angst and perhaps even some regrets for all that didn't get done. But I will also enjoy looking back on what, God willing, will be 29 straight years of homeschooling and close the chapter with joy and gratitude.

    As my career as a homeschooling mom winds down, I'm enjoying other pursuits that I haven't had or taken time for in years. I'm reading more, I'm working some, I'm blogging (!) nearly every day, I'm teaching myself new stuff via internet tutorials, and I'm traveling more. I'm hoping to add some sewing and/or knitting this year and maybe I'll find something I've never done before. Not painting. I've promised myself most of my life that I wouldn't greet midlife by taking up oil painting. Nope, not me. It won't be me with the smock and the canvas and palette out on a hillside. I'll paint with my pen, thanks :-)

    Anyway, I still enjoy the process of planning the academics and learning with the kids. When I hear people say they're tired of it after five years, I don't understand. Oh, I definitely had times at the five-year mark when I was tired and wished I could have some time off, but not because I was tired of the life or the choices we made. It's draining, yes...and that's why I thank God that I have a husband who has always, from the very beginning, done all he could do to give me breathers and vacations and help and understanding. Without those things I'd never have lasted 23 years.

    And now, I'm going to get into my jammies early and slide off to Holly Springs...

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    has spoken at 7:21 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    David Brooks at The New York Times has an interesting distillation of last night's Iowa caucus results.

    The Two Earthquakes

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    has spoken at 10:39 AM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, January 03, 2008
    Now this is the kind of news I can use:

    Stock up on fur coats.

    A cold spell soon to replace global warming

    Okay, so the news comes from Russia. But hey, any excuse for a fur coat, yes? And besides, his credentials sound impressive enough to me:

    Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, Merited Scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute.

    I want to do my part for global cooling, don't you?

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    has spoken at 10:09 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    If you've come here looking for my reaction to the Iowa caucuses, here it is:


    This might be the only contest that Huckabee wins, but it's sure sweet while it lasts!

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    has spoken at 9:07 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny's knowledge, always trying to catch up with God's....

    Happiness may be good for your health

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A happy heart just might be a healthier one as well, new research suggests.

    In a study of nearly 3,000 healthy British adults, lead by Dr. Andrew Steptoe of University College London, found that those who reported upbeat moods had lower levels of cortisol -- a "stress" hormone that, when chronically elevated, may contribute to high blood pressure, abdominal obesity and dampened immune function, among other problems.

    In the study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who reported more positive emotions had lower blood levels of two proteins that indicate widespread inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is believed to contribute to a range of ills over time, including heart disease and cancer.

    Researchers have long noted that happier people tend to be in better health than those who are persistently stressed, hostile or pessimistic. But the reasons are still being studied.

    Happiness may be good for your health

    What a surprise, to hear that the Bible has had some of our prescriptions all along:

    A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
    (Proverbs 17:22, KJV, emphasis mine)

    Isn't it interesting to watch 21st century man discover principles that God set in motion in the Garden...

    At Granny's House, we've long known that laughter is one of the elements that has "glued" our family together, and we do a lot of it. Turns out it may be keeping us healthy as well. If you're interested in more:

    Laughter "boosts" blood vessels
    Links found between happiness and health
    Laughter is the best medicine for your heart
    The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter

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    has spoken at 12:08 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, January 02, 2008
    Into the mouths of babes

    (This is the blog of my daughter #2, mother of five and expert baker!)

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    has spoken at 10:02 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, January 01, 2008
    New Year's Day edition of the snippets...
    In case you've missed my mentions of one of the great loves of my life, listen up: guacamole was surely the first veggie combo in the Garden of Eden.

    There are entirely too many bowl games named after snack foods, hotels, and auto parts stores. I mean, come on, the Meineke Car Care Bowl? What happened to oranges, roses, and sugar? And what does AT&T (disclaimer: The Papa is employed by said corporation) have to do with cotton?

    2008 is a leap year. One more reason not to start off with a long list of resolutions: a longer year to have to keep them.

    Iowa has two more days of prominence on the national stage before it recedes into oblivion for at least three more years. Is anyone else glad?

    Did you watch the Rose Parade? Aubrey and family were there, in the good seats. Some watchers probably got more than they bargained for:
    Two groups were protesting at the parade. Dozens of anti-war protesters led by "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan staked out spots across from television cameras, hoisting signs reading "Impeachment is Patriotic." The protesters were booed by parade watchers sitting in the grandstand.
    Good thing we live in a free country.

    On this first day of January, the foundation of the coming year, I am reminded of the firm foundation we have in Jesus Christ and His word, and am therefore reflecting on the lyrics to one my favorite hymns...

    How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
    Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
    What more can He say than to you He hath said,
    You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

    In every condition, in sickness, in health;
    In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
    At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
    As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

    Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
    For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
    I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
    Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

    When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
    The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
    For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
    And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

    When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
    My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
    The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
    Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

    Even down to old age all My people shall prove
    My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
    And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
    Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

    The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
    I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
    That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
    I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

    ~~From A Se­lect­ion of Hymns from the Best Au­thors, by John Rip­pon, 1787

    May your life as well as your year be planted firmly on the only foundation that holds.

    has spoken at 11:23 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    Saying goodbye...
    Sunday snippets...
    Sunday snippets...
    Coming soon to a country near you...
    Making (a) room...
    Just in case this might make an impact on your spe...
    Midweek snippets...
    What's up?
    She said YES!

    Granny used to say...
    October 2005
    November 2005
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    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"